Lunchbreak: “Healthier” Mac & Cheese – Butternut Squash with Chickpea Pasta

Midday News

Courtney Schuchmann, MS, RD, LDN – University of Chicago Medical Center

-The Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation is a non-profit 501c3 dedicated to raising funds to support the physicians and scientists at The University of Chicago Medicine Digestive Diseases Center.

-Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week is December 1-7.  Millions of Americans live with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis and GIFR offers resources to treat these digestive diseases. 

-The GI Research Foundation’s website ( has more gut-friendly recipes and resources.


Butternut Squash with Chickpea Pasta


4 cups butternut squash, cubed

1 small onion, diced

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp salt

½ tsp all spice or nutmeg

1 (14 oz) can low sodium vegetable broth/stock

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

1 box chickpea pasta (~250 grams)


1.       Prep the butternut squash by peeling the skin, cutting the squash in half, removing the seeds, and chopping the squash into cubes. To make this recipe easier you could purchase already prepared butternut squash cubes.

2.       In a large pot sauté onion in one tablespoon of olive oil. Once the onions have softened (about 2-3 minutes) add in a tablespoon of minced garlic and sauté for 1 additional minute.

3.       Add the chopped-up butternut squash and sautee an additional 1-2 minutes before adding the vegetable broth and almond milk. Season the mixture with salt, pepper, and nutmeg/all spice.

4.       Let the mixture simmer on medium to high heat for 10-15 minutes or until butternut squash is fork tender.

5.       Use an emulsion blender to blend the contents of the soup to a pureed consistency where there are no lumps.

6.       Add the cheddar cheese and mix until evenly incorporated and cheese dissolves

7.       Add in cooked chickpea pasta and season with additional salt and pepper for taste. Serve immediately.


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